By now, we should have acquainted ourselves with Sherlock’s deduction methods. This book is all about the following. “When you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth.” It was a closed-door scenario. A man disappeared. Clearly he did not jump out of the window to die, despite some clumsy signs to mislead the investigation. Meanwhile, there was only one “another” person ever getting out of the room. So he must be the missing man in disguise.
The deduction is elementary, with the only remaining gap to find a motive that link the two persons together. Why did he ever do it? And that question, is all.
The moral is about addiction, the addiction of getting quick satisfaction while wrecking something valuable or noble in the process. It starts with one of Watson’s patient’s addiction with opium, and led into a mystery of a young man’s addiction of begging for easy money. The patient lost his long-term health, while the young man lost his integrity.
It becomes interesting when these cases are compared with that of Sherlock himself. As we know already, he was a regular morphine user (despite the many objections from Watson). According to Holmes, the use was only to remove the dullness of the brain being idle. And he did not sacrifice anything valuable or noble in the process. In other words, it seems that he had never became the slave of his drug use. So, should his drug use be considered a harmful addiction or not? Wow, Doyle was actually getting into some debate we are having in this age. 🙂